Racing titles have always been one of the most popular forms of interactive entertainment and Codemasters GRID is the latest effort in a line of racing titles that began with TOCA 1 & 2. Re-born in the Race Driver series, the latest of which was Race Driver 3, GRID has competed head to head against games like Forza Motorsports II and GT5 Prologue for the playing time of racing fanatics.
Developers have included the hottest, fastest and most powerful cars in the world of both street racing and professional racing, and some of the most beautiful racing settings on the planet for you to race. Let’s take a quick drive with GRID for the Wii console, one the latest games to slide into Codemasters garage of outstanding racing titles, and see how she handles.
The good (4 out of 5)
The driving controls designed into the Wii version of GRID worked well. They were kind of forgiving and allowed me to just race without a steep learning curve.
There is good depth in variety of cars and racing locations. With so many modes to race the time just flies by, and before you know it, it’s time to go back to work.
An accessible and rewarding Career mode that is enjoyable in all aspects to play. This was the best mode, with everything a gamer needs to keep the racer inside content.
The bad (2 out of 5)
GRID doesn’t have an option for mechanical upgrades to the cars, you either buy a new ride, or keep using the old one the way it was set up originally.
For me online racing is the most important aspect with a racing title, and GRID, while it has some online content, needs more of this fun mode. The addition of more single player and multiplayer online modes would have made this game a lot better.
How the game looks? (4 out of 5)
The beautifully realized and dramatic race locations from around the globe all look amazing, with wonderful detail including and eye-catching scenes at all locations. The visual effects were okay, not spectacular as Forza or GT5, but they still looked good in all the scenes. The graphics looked okay, especially when the race car isn’t moving, but once it is moving the backgrounds tend to blur with the Wii version of this game.
A stylish touch is added with the addition of a camera tilt as you take a corner which is a nice addition to the visual texture of the game, as is the view provided by the in-car camera.
The nicely designed menus are beautifully laid out and organized for easier interaction.
There is eautiful attention to detail in all aspects of the game’s visual appeal, from the look of the cars, to the engines, to the amazing cities and race tracks included.
The sounds of the game (4 out of 5)
The intro theme by UNKLE, sounded great, but the rest of the soundtrack was bland and uninspiring. The sound effects, while good, were a little light on the power sounds of the engines for me, especially since you’re sitting in the drivers seat, you’d think they would be more intense.
The story (4 out of 5)
The meat of this game, the Career mode, puts you in the drivers seat as you compete against the world’s best on the deadliest streets in the world. You’ll freelance your driving talent out to teams in need, form your own team to compete, and negotiate the sponsorship contracts you need in order to buy new vehicles and keep racing. The main goal is to increase your driving reputation and earn money to keep the race going. You earn money for winning races, playing in a harder difficulty setting, earning a sponsorship bonus and being part of a winning race team.
Playability (4 out of 5)
This racing game is fun to play again and again, with a number of single player and multiplayer modes to keep you racing for hours and hours. The designers have added a flashback system that allows you to replay parts of your race, so if you crash or want to try a part again and again, you can. Also,the controls are light and responsive to the touch, making for an enjoyable and competitive experience that was both challenging and fun.
The final mark (4 out of 5)
A well thought out and developed game with a history, GRID has many of the aspects we have come to expect in games for the racing genre. The A.I. is challenging, but not too hard, and they did a good job with the variety of different racers and styles of racing employed by the computer generated drivers. The variety of different racing disciplines, from GT to Pro races to drift competitons, and even a demolition derby, combine nicely with the controls in this extremely playable title.
That said, the cars don’t always react like the physics would insist they should, they often don’t feel attached to the road, the physics just feels funny, and the braking isn’t as realistic as it could be.
A good challenger to the racing titles available on the market, GRID stacks up nicely against Forza II and GT5, and is a good racing game on its own.
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